Through the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, the CDFI Fund provides funding to build the capacity of certified Native CDFIs, emerging Native CDFIs, and sponsoring entities and increases access to capital in Native communities. The NACA program provides funding through financial assistance (FA) awards up to $750,000 to certified Native CDFIs in the form of loans, grants, deposits, and equity investments. Additional technical assistance (TA) grants of up to $150,000 are available to certified Native CDFIs, emerging Native CDFIs, and sponsoring entities. Native awardees may use TA dollars to increase their capacity to serve Native communities and/or to create or become certified Native CDFIs.
With the enactment of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2029), Congress has successfully reinstated language to waive the non-federal dollar-for-dollar match requirement for the NACA program. The law appropriates $15.5 million in funding to NACA for financial and technical assistance, training, and outreach programs without the obligation of meeting the match requirement found in 12 U.S.C. 4707(e). The removal of the dollar-for-dollar match is an important win for Indian Country considering the far-reaching impact and success the CDFI program has had in the past and the difficulties Native CDFIs have encountered in raising private capital.
Current Status and Action:
The Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2016 (S. 3234) introduced by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs includes language to waive any matching requirements for Native CDFIs. Appropriations language has been added in the past to allow this waiver. However, it has not happened every year, and Native CDFIs are challenged to come up with matching funds, making a permanent fix essential. NAFOA is supporting a fix to the matching requirement.